WHEELING AND DEALING …
NUMBER OF TRADES (since Nov. 13): 58
BANTAM DRAFT PICKS: 77
CONDITONAL BANTAM DRAFT PICKS: 12
THE DEADLINE: It came and went on Wednesday, Jan. 10.
Why did I start counting on Nov. 13? Because that’s the day when the trading season got serious; that is the day when the Regina Pats, the host team for the 2018 Memorial Cup, went out and got D Cale Fleury from the Kootenay Ice.
THE DEAL: The Portland Winterhawks acquired D Dennis Cholowski, 19, and G Ty Taylor, 18, from the Prince George Cougars for F Ilijah Colina, 17, F Connor Bowie, 16, first- and third-round picks in the 2020 WHL bantam draft, and second-rounders in 2018 and 2019.
THE NUMBERS: The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Cholowski, in his first WHL season, had 13 goals and 26 assists in 37 games with the Cougars. Among WHL defencemen, he is second in goals and sixth in points. . . . The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Taylor is 16-3-3, 1.90, .929 in 22 games with the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers. Last season, also with Vernon, he was 13-12-2, 2.96, .908. . . . Colina had four goals and 23 assists in 83 career games with Portland. This season, he had three goals and 12 assists in 37 games. . . . Bowie, 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds, is playing for the NEBC Yukon Trackers in the Northern Alberta Midget AA Hockey League, where he has 20 goals and 15 assists in 18 games. He had a goal and four assists with Portland in the exhibition season.
THE INFO: Cholowski was the Cougars’ captain. From Langley, B.C., Cholowski was a first-round pick, 20th overall, by the Detroit Red Wings in the NHL’s 2016 draft. He has signed with the Red Wings. The Cougars selected him in the 10th round of the 2013 bantam draft. . . . The Winterhawks selected Taylor’s brother Trey in the ninth-round of the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. Neither Taylor has signed a WHL contract. . . . Colina, from Delta, B.C., was an eighth-round pick by Portland in the 2015 bantam draft. . . . Bowie, from Fort St. John, B.C., was a seventh-round pick by Portland in the 2016 bantam draft.
WHY: Cholowski, one of the WHL’s top defencemen, should be a perfect fit with the Winterhawks. As GM/head coach Mike Johnston put it in a news conference: “It’s always been our philosophy to have transitional defencemen on our back end and he fits in perfectly with out style of play.” . . . The Cougars, reloading after going all-in last season, have added a roster forward, a prospect and draft picks to the cupboard.
THE DEAL: The Moose Jaw Warriors acquired D Kale Clague, 19, from the Brandon Wheat Kings for F Luka Burzan, who turned 18 on Jan. 7, D Chase Hartje, who turned 18 on Dec. 17, first-round selections in the WHL’s 2019 and 2021 bantam drafts, and a second-round pick in 2018.
THE NUMBERS: Clague, 6-foot-0 and 180 pounds, had 10 goals and 37 assists in 28 games with Brandon this season. His 47 points have him second among WHL defencemen. In 169 career games, he has 25 goals and 118 assists. In 40 playoff games, he has eight goals and 13 assists. He was part of Brandon’s 2015-16 championship roster. . . . Burzan, 6-foot-0 and 180 pounds, has six goals and 13 assists in 42 games this season. Last season, as a freshman, he had 14 goals and 13 assists in 27 games. . . . The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Hartje had four goals and 21 assists in 25 games with Bemidji, Minn., High School last season. He had 17 assists in 31 games with the Warriors.
THE INFO: Clague, from Lloydminster, Alta., is fresh of winning a gold medal with Team Canada at the WJC in Buffalo; he won silver with Team Canada at the previous year. The Wheat Kings selected him in the first round, sixth overall, of the 2013 bantam draft. Clague was picked by the Los Angeles Kings in the second round of the NHL’s 2016 draft and he has signed with them. . . . Moose Jaw selected Burzan, who is from Surrey, B.C., with the sixth overall pick of the 2015 bantam draft. In his draft season, he had 80 goals and 51 assists in 62 games with a bantam A1-T1 team at the North Shore Winter Club. . . . Hartje was listed by the Warriors. Last season, he also played in 16 games with Great Plains of a U.S. high school league and had two goals and four assists in nine games with the NAHL’s Bismarck Bobcats.
WHY: The Wheat Kings, third in the overall standings and third in the East Division, behind Moose Jaw and Swift Current, who were buying, decided the prices were too high so they sold. This deal, and the one below with Victoria, has allowed Brandon to feel positive about its future. . . . The Warriors, meanwhile, add one of the WHL’s top defencemen, something that allows it to keep pace with Swift Current and Regina, at least on paper.
THE DEAL: The Victoria Royals acquired F Tanner Kaspick, 19, and F Cameron MacDonald, 15, from the Brandon Wheat Kings for D Jonathon Lambos, who will turn 17 on Jan. 14, F Ty Thorpe, who will turn 16 on Jan. 27, and first-round picks in the WHL’s 2019 and 2021 bantam drafts.
THE NUMBERS: Kaspick had 11 goals and 25 assists in 35 games with the Wheat Kings this season. Last season, he had 19 goals and 26 assists in 49 games with his hometown team. In 191 career games, he has 45 goals and 86 assists. . . . MacDonald has 22 goals and 14 assists in 20 games with the West Valley Hawks of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League. The 5-foot-8, 160-pounder also has two assists in four games with the BCHL’s Powell River Kings. . . .
Lambos, 5-foot-10 and 165 pounds, has two goals and 12 assists in 21 games with the Rink Hockey Academy’s prep team in Winnipeg. He played last season in the Omaha Lancers organization. . . . Thorpe has seven goals and eight assists in 18 games with the Rink Hockey Academy Prep team.
THE INFO: Kaspick was selected by the St. Louis Blues in the fourth round of the NHL’s 2016 draft and he has signed with them. The Wheat Kings picked him in the second round of the WHL’s 2013 bantam draft. He was part of the Brandon team that won the 2016 WHL title. . . . MacDonald, who is from Surrey, B.C., was picked by Brandon in the fifth round of the 2017 bantam draft. He has yet to sign a WHL contract. . . . Lambos, from Winnipeg, was a third-round pick by Victoria in the 2016 bantam draft. He hasn’t yet signed a WHL deal. . . . The 5-foot-11, 145-pound Thorpe, from Brandon, was a third-round pick by Victoria in the 2017 bantam draft. He also hasn’t yet signed a WHL contract.
WHY: As Royals president and GM Cam Hope said in a news release: “There are very few opportunities to acquire a player with Tanner’s skill, character and experience.” Kaspick will fit nicely into Victoria’s top six forwards. . . . Hope and Brandon GM Grant Armstrong also moved three prospects; keep in mind that Armstrong worked with the Royals before signing with Brandon prior to 2016-17. Armstrong also got two more first-round draft picks for his scouts to drool over, at least for now.
THE DEAL: The Lethbridge Hurricanes acquired F Keltie Jeri-Leon, 17, from the Kamloops Blazers for a seventh-round pick in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft.
THE NUMBERS: Jeri-Leon had a goal and two assists in 21 games with the Blazers. Last season, he had two goals and an assist in 46 games with Tri-City. He was pointless in two games there this season.
THE INFO: The Blazers acquired Jeri-Leon, who is from West Kelowna, B.C., from the Tri-City Americans on Oct. 8 for a seventh-round bantam pick in 2018. . . . He turns 18 on Jan. 19. . . . The Americans selected him in the fifth round of the 2015 bantam draft.
WHY: Kamloops gets a draft pick for a player they acquired but was having trouble getting into their lineup. . . . Lethbridge adds a depth forward.
THE DEAL: The Everett Silvertips acquired F Spencer Gerth, 19, from the Victoria Royals for a seventh-round selection in the 2019 WHL bantam draft.
THE NUMBERS: This season, Gerth, an undrafted list player, had three goals and three assists in 43 games with the Royals. In 156 games split between Victoria and, yes, Everett, he has five goals and five assists.
THE INFO: Gerth, from Langley, is 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds. The Royals acquired him from Everett on Nov. 22, 2016, for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.
WHY: Gerth is an energy guy and that’s what the Silvertips wanted.
THE DEAL: The Everett Silvertips acquired F Bronson Sharp, who turned 18 on Dec. 29, from the Portland Winterhawks for a fifth-round pick in the WHL’s 2020 bantam draft.
THE NUMBERS: Sharp had two goals and one assist in 38 games with Portland this season. In 84 career games, all with Portland, he has two goals and three assists. . . . He had 16 goals and 21 assists in 22 games with the Yale Hockey Academy prep team in the CSSHL in 2015-16.
THE INFO: From Mission, B.C., the 5-foot-11, 170-pound Sharp was listed by Portland.
WHY: Sharp will add more depth to Everett’s forward ranks.
THE DEAL: The Lethbridge Hurricanes acquired the WHL rights to F Michael Horon, 16, from the Everett Silvertips for a sixth-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft.
THE NUMBERS: Horon has nine goals and 13 assists in 24 games with the midget AAA Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Last season, he had 77 points, including 38 goals, in 37 games with the minor midget Hurricanes.
THE INFO: From Lethbridge, Horon was a ninth-round pick by Everett in the 2016 bantam draft.
WHY: The Hurricanes have the opportunity to recruit a hometown lad into their organization.
THE DEAL: The Seattle Thunderbirds acquired F Jaxan Kaluski, 18, from the Moose Jaw Warriors for a sixth-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft.
THE NUMBERS: Kaluski had two goals and an assist in 22 games with the Warriors this season. He had one assist in 16 games last season.
THE INFO: Kaluski, from Lloydminster, Alta., was listed by the Warriors. He was limited to 16 games by a fractured ankle that required surgery.
WHY: Kaluski adds depth and energy to Seattle’s roster.
THE DEAL: The Regina Pats acquired D Aaron Hyman, 19, from the Seattle Thunderbirds for F Owen Williams, 17, and a second-round pick in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft.
THE NUMBERS: Hyman had a goal and six assists in 26 games with Seattle. Last season, he had a goal and six assists in 20 playoff games. . . . The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Williams, a freshman, had one goal and six assists in 26 games with the Pats.
THE INFO: If he stays healthy, Hyman will get a chance to play in a second straight Memorial Cup tournament. He was on Seattle’s championship team last season. From Calgary, Hyman was selected by the Hitmen in the third round of the 2013 bantam draft. They traded him to Seattle on Dec. 27, 2016, for a third-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft. . . . Williams, from Delta, B.C., was picked by Regina in the ninth round of the 2015 bantam draft.
WHY: The Pats wanted size and they got it in Hyman, who is 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds. He’ll play hard in his zone. . . . The Thunderbirds move him for a defenceman with some upside and an early draft pick.
THE DEAL: The Regina Pats acquired D Brady Pouteau, who turned 20 on Tuesday, from the Lethbridge Hurricanes for a seventh-round pick in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft.
THE NUMBERS: Poteau had a goal and 10 assists in 31 games with Lethbridge this season. In 122 career games, the first 61 with Regina, he has four goals and 26 assists.
THE INFO: Poteau, from Oak Bluff, Man., was selected by the Pats in the fourth round of the 2013 bantam draft. They traded him to the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Jan. 5, 2017 for a seventh-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.
WHY: The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Poteau brings more size and experience to Regina’s back end.